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Ryanair diverts flights after part of Luton Airport runway melts in extreme heat


Ryanair flight. Photo: Niall Carson

Ryanair flight. Photo: Niall Carson

Ryanair flight. Photo: Niall Carson

Ryanair was forced to divert several of its flights to and from London’s Luton airport earlier today after a section of the runway melted in the blistering heat enveloping the UK.

While there were four flights to and from Dublin Airport to Luton this evening, a Ryanair spokesperson said none of those flights had been affected so far.

However, a number of Ryanair flights were diverted to London Stansted Airport from Luton “due to a temporary runway defect at London Luton Airport”.

“We sincerely apologise to affected customers for any inconvenience caused as a result of this runway defect at London Luton Airport which is entirely beyond Ryanair’s control,” she added.

The diversion came after the UK’s Met Office issued an unprecedented Red warning for extreme heat there as temperatures soared to 38C and are expected to climb even higher on Tuesday.

Engineers were called out to Luton Airport to look at what was described as a “surface defect” on the runway.

PA News reported that footage from the tarmac revealed a large rectangular-shaped area being examined by people in high-visibility vests on Monday afternoon.

A statement from the airport said: “Following today’s high temperatures, a surface defect was identified on the runway.

“Engineers were called immediately to site and repair works are currently in progress to resume operations as soon as possible.

“We would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused.”

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Meanwhile, flying activity was also halted at RAF Brize Norton, with Sky News reporting that part of the runway had melted.

An RAF spokesman said: “During this period of extreme temperature flight safety remains our top priority, so aircraft are using alternative airfields in line with a long established plan.

“This means there is no impact on RAF operations.”

The mercury reached 36.1C at Brize Norton and 36C at Luton, the UK Met Office said.

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